tv Presidential Debate CNN October 23, 2012 12:30am-2:30am EDT
>> your hair was not as gray. >> a little more pepper in my pa hair. now it's just salt. the toupee. >> two weeks from tomorrow, election day. we will be back. >> we will be. >> it's early tuesday morning right now and the election is two weeks away. >> more of the debate. >> good evening from the campus of lynn university in boca raton, florida. this is the fourth and last debate of the 2012 campaign brought to you by the presidential debates. this one is on foreign policy. i'm bob schaffer. the questions are mine and i have not shared them with the candidates or their aides. the audience has taken a vow of silence. no applause and no reaction of any kind except right now when we welcome president barack
obama and governor mitt romney. [ applause ] >> gentlemen, your campaigns have agreed to certain rules and they are simple. they asked me to divide the evening into segments. i will pose a question at the beginning of each segment you will each have two minutes to respond and then we will have a general discussion until we move to the next segment. tonight's debate as both of you know comes on the 50th anniversary of the night that president kennedy told the world that the soviet union installed
nuclear missiles in cuba. perhaps the closest we have ever come to nuclear war. it is a sobering reminder that every president faces at some point an unexpected threat to our national security from abroad. let's begin. the first segment is the challenge of a changing middle east and the new face of terrorism. i'm going to put this into two segments so you will have two topic questions within this one segment on the subject. the first question, and it concerns libya, the controversy over what happened continues for americans who are dead including an ambassador. questions remain what happened, what caused it, it was spontaneous or was it intelligence failure or a policy failure. was there an attempt to mislead people about what happened.
governor romney, you said it was an example of an american policy in the middle east that is unraveling before our very eyes. i would like to hear each of you give your thoughts on that, governor romney, you won the toss and you go first. >> thank you, bob and thank you for agreeing to moderate this debate this evening and thank you to lynn university and mr. president, it was good to be with you again. we were at a humorous event. this is a great concern to the world and america in particular which was to see a complete change in the structure and the environment in the middle east with the arab string came a great deal of hope that there would be a change towards moderation and an opportunity for greater participation on the part of women and public life and economic life in the mideast. instead we have seen in nation
after nation a number of disturbing events. in syria, 30,000 civilians having done killed by the military there and we see in libya an attack apparently by i think we know now by terrorists of some kind against our people there. four people dead. our hearts and minds go to them. molly has been taken over by al qaeda-type individuals. we have in egypt a muslim brotherhood president. we are seeing a reversal in the hopes and the greatest threat of all is iran four years closer to a nuclear weapon. we have to recognize we have to do as the president has done. i congratulate him on taking out osama bin laden and going after the leadership in al qaeda, but we can't kill our way out of this mess. we will have to put in place a comprehensive and robust strategy to help the world of islam and other parts of the
world reject this radical violent extremism which is not on the run. it's not hiding. this was a group involved in ten or 12 countries and it presents an enormous threat to our friends and the world and to america long-term. we must have a comprehensive strategy to reject this kind of extremism. >> mr. president. >> mire first job as commander in chief is to keep the american people safe. that's what we have done over the last years. we ended of war in iraq and focused on those who actually killed us on 9/11. as a consequence, al qaeda's core leadership has been decimated. in addition we are now able to transition out of afghanistan in a responsible way, making sure that afghans take responsibility for their own security. that allows us also to rebuild alliances and make friends around the world to combat
future threats. with respect to libya as i indicated in the last debate, when we received that phone call, i immediately made sure that number one, we did everything we could to secure those americans who were still in harm's way. number two, we would investigate what happened and number three, most importantly, we would go after those who killed americans and we would bring them to justice. that's what we are going to do. it's important to step back and think about what happened in libya. keep in mind that i and americans took leadership in organizing an international coalition that made sure we were able to without putting troops on the ground at the cost of less than what we spent in two weeks in iraq liberate a country that was under the yoke of dictatorship for 40 years. got rid of someone who killed americans and as a consequence, despite this tragedy, you had
tens of thousands of libyans after the events of benghazi marching and saying america is our friend. we stand with them. that represents the opportunity we have to take advantage of. governor romney, i'm glad that you agree that we have been successful in going after al qaeda, but i have to tell you that your strategy previously is that has been all over the map. it's not designed to keep americans safe or build on the opportunities that exist in the mideast. >> my strategy is straight forward which is to go after the bad guys and make sure we do our best to interrupt them and kill them and take them out of the picture. my strategy is broader than that. that's important, of course. but the key that we will have to pursue is a pathway to get the muslim world to reject extremism on its own. we don't want another iraq or afghanistan. that's not the right course for us.
the right course is to go after the people who are leaders of these various anti-american groups and these jihadists, but also help the muslim world? how do we do that? the group of arab scholars do that. we lock at how to help the world reject these terrorists. the answer they came up with was this. more development. we should keep our foreign aid and investment and that of our friends to make sure we push back and give them more economic development. number two, better education. number three, gender equality. number four, the rule of law. we have to help the nations create civil societies. what is happening as we watched this in the middle east, this rising tide of chaos occur, you see al qaeda rushing in and you see other jihadist groups rushing in and throughout many nations in the mideast, it's wonderful that libya is making progress despite this tragedy,
but next door we have egypt, libya's 6 million population and egypt 80 million population. we want to see progress with having mali taken over and with syria having assad killed and murder his own people, this is a region and iran on the path to a nuclear weapon. >> let's give the president a chance. >> governor romney, i'm glad you recognize that al qaeda is a threat. eye few months ago when you asked what the biggest threat was that faces america, you said russia. not adqaeda. you said russia. they asked for their foreign policy back. the cold war has been over for 20 years. when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s. it's like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s. you say you are not interested
in duplicating what happened in iraq, but just a few weeks ago you said we should have more troops in iraq. the challenge we have, i know you haven't been in a position it execute foreign policy, but every time you overed an opinion, you have been wrong. you said we should have gone to iraq despite the fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction. you said that we should still have troops in iraq to this day. you indicated that we shouldn't be passing nuclear treaties with russia despite the fact that 71 senators, democrats and republicans voted for it. you said that first we should not have a timeline in afghanistan and then said we should. now i say maybe or it depends. that means not only were you wrong, but also confusing and sending mixed messages to troops and allies. what we need to do with respect
to the mideast is strong steady leadership and not wrong and reckless leadership that is all over the map. unfortunately that's the kind of opinions that you offered throughout this campaign. it is not a recipe for american strength or keeping america strong. >> i am give you a chance to respond. >> of course i don't concur with what the president said about my record and the things i said. they don't happen to be accurate. i can say this. we are talking about the middle east and how to help them reject the terrorism we are seeing and the rising tide of confusion. attacking me is not an agenda. it's not talking about how to deal with the challenges that exist in the mideast and take advantage of the opportunity there and stem the tide of this violence. i will respond to a couple of things you mentioned. first of all, russia i indicated is a geopolitical foe. excuse me. it's a geopolitical foe and i
said iran is the greatest national security threat we face. russia does continue to battle us in the un time and time again. i have clear eyes on that. i won't wear rose colored glasses when it comes to russia or putin and i will not give more plexibility after the election. he will get more backbone. number two, with regards to iraq, you and i agreed and believed there should have been a status in forces agreement. >> we didn't. what i would not have done is left 10,000 troops in iraq that would tie us down and that would certainly not help us. >> there was an effort on the part of the president to have a status of forces and i concurred and said we should have a number of troops that stayed on. i concurred with that. that was my posture as well. i thought it should have been 5,000 and more. the answer was we got no troops through whatsoever. >> this was a few weeks ago you
indicated we should still have troops in iraq. >> i'm sorry. i indicated that you failed to put in place a status of forces agreement at the end of the conplikt. >> governor, here's one thing i have learned as commander in chief. you have to be clear. both to the allies and our enemies about where you stand and what you mean. you gave a speech a few weeks ago in which you said we should have troops in iran. that is not a recipe for making sure we are taking advantage of the opportunities and the challenges of the mideast. now it is absolutely true that we can not just beat these challenges militarily. what i have done throughout my presidency and will continue to do is make sure the countries are supporting our counter terrorism efforts. number two, make sure they are standing by our interests in israel security. it is a true friend and our greatest ally in the region. number three, we have to make
sure we protect the religious minorities and women because the countries can't develop if half of it develops. we have to develop the economic capabilities. number five, the other thing is recognize that we can't continue to do nation building in these regions. part of american leadership is doing nation building here at home. that will help us maintain the kind of american leadership we need. [ male announcer ] when this hotel added aflac to provide a better benefits package... oahhh!
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>> let me interject the second topic question in this segment about the middle east and so on. that is you both mentioned and alluded to this. that is syria. the war in syria spilled over to lebanon. we have more than 100 people killed there this a bomb. there were demonstrations there. eight people dead. mr. president, it has been more than a year since you told assad he had to go and since then 30,000 syrians have died and 300,000 refugees and the war goes on and still there, should we reassess our policy and see if we can find a better way to influence events there or is that even possible. you go first, sir. >> we have done is organize the international community saying assad has to go. we mobilized sanctions against
that government. we made sure that they are isolated. we provided humanitarian assistance and we are helping them organize and making sure we are mobilizing the moderate forces inside of syria. ultimately, syrians are going to have to determine their own future. everything we are doing, we are doing in consultation with partners in the region including israel that has a huge interest in seeing what happens. coordinating with turkey and other countries that had a great interest in this. what we are seeing taking place in syria is heart breaking. that's why we are doing gg to do everything to make sure we help the opposition, but we have to recognize that for us to get more entangled in syria is a serious step. we have to do so making certain we know who we are helping and not putting arms in the hands of
folk who is can turn them against us or allies in the region. i am confident that assad's days are numbered, but what we can't do is simply suggest that as governor romney at times suggested that giving heavy weapons, for example, to the syrian opposition is a simple proposition to lead us to be safer over the long-term. governor? >> let's talk about what's happening in syria and how important it is. 30,000 people being killed by their government is a humanitarian disaster. syria is an opportunity for us because they play an important role. syria is iran's only ally in the arab world. it's their route to the sea. it's the route for them to arm hezbollah and lebanon that threatens the ally, israel. seeing syria remove assad is a high priority for us. number two, seeing the replacement government being responsible people is critical for us.
we don't want military involvement there and get drawn into a military conflict. the right course for us is working through partners and with our own resources and identify responsible parties within syria and organize them and bring them together in a form of if not government, council that can take the lead and have the arms necessary to defend themselves. we need to make sure that they don't have arms that get into the wrong hands. those arms can be used to hurt us and coordinate with the allies and with israel. the turks are all concerned about this and willing to work with us. we need an effective leadership effort in syria making sure that the insurgents are armed and the insurgents that become armed are people who will be the responsible parties. recognize and i believe that assad must go. i believe he will go, but i
believe we want to make sure we have the relationships and a friendship with the people that take his place such that in the years to come, we see syria as a friend and a responsible party in the mideast. this is a critical opportunity for america. what i'm afraid of is as we watched, first the president sang we will let the un deal with it and kofi annan said we will have a ceasefire. that didn't work. then to the rugs and let's see if you can do something. we should be playing the leadership role. not on the ground with the military. >> we organize the friends of syria. we are mobilizing humanitarian support and support for the opposition. we are making sure that those we help are those who will be friends of ours in the long-term and friends of allies in the region for the long-term. going back to libya, this is an example of how we make choices.
when we went into libya, we were able to immediately stop the massacre there because of the unique circumstances and the coalition that we helped to organize, we had to make sure that gadhafi didn't stay there. to the governor's credit, you supported going into libya and the coalition we organize, but when it came time to making sure that gadhafi didn't stay in power, your suggestion was that this was mission model. imagine if we had pulled out at that point. gadhafi had more american blood on his hands than any individual other than osama bin laden. we were going it make sure we finished the job. that's part of the reason why the libyans stand with us. we did so in a careful, thoughtful way, making certain that we knew who we were dealing with and the forces of moderation on the ground were
ones we could work with and we have to take the same kind of steady thoughtful leadership when it comes to syria. that's what we are doing. >> governor, would you go beyond what the administration would do, for example, would you put in no-fly zones? >> i don't want to have our military involved in syria and i don't think there is a necessity to put them in at this stage. as i indicated, our objectives are to replace assad and have in place a new government which is friendly to us and a responsible government if possible. i want to make sure they get arm and they have the arms necessary to defend themselves, but also to remove assad. i do not want to see military involvement on the part of our troops and this isn't going to be necessary. we have with our partners in the region, sufficient resources to support those groups. look, this has been going on for a year. this should have been a time for
american leadership. we should have taken a leading role not militarily, but a leading role and organization to bring together the parties to find parties. as you hear from intelligence sources today, the insurgents of highly desperate and they haven't formed a unity group and a council. that needs to happen. we need to make sure they have the arms they need to carry out the very important which is getting rid of assad. >> i will be very quick. what you heard governor romney said is he doesn't have different ideas. that's because we are doing exactly what we should be doing to try to promote a moderate syrian leadership and an effective transition so we get assad out. that's the leadership we have shown and will continue to show.
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. may i ask you, during the egyptian turmoil, there came a point where you said it was time for president mubarak to go, some thought perhaps we should have waited a while on that. do you have any regrets about that? >> no,i don't because i think that america has to stand with democracy. the notion that we would have tanks run over those young people who were in tahrir square is not the kind of american leadership that john f. kennedy talked about 50 years ago. what i also said that now that you have a democratically elected government in egypt, they have to make sure they take responsibility for protecting
religious minorities. we put significant pressure on them to make sure they are doing that and recognize the rights of women which is critical throughout the region. these countries can't develop and young women are not given the education they need. they have to abide by their fre treat we israel. not only are their securities at stake if that unravels, but they have to make sure they are cooperating with us with counter terrorism and we will help them with respect to developing their own economy. ultimately what's going to make the egyptian revolution successful for the people of egypt and the world is if those young people who gathered there are seeing opportunities. the aspirations are similar to young people here. they want jobs and they want to be able to make sure their kids are going to a good school and make sure they have a roof over their heads and they have the prospects of a better life in the future.
one of the things we have been doing is organizing the conferences with these egyptians to give them a sense of how they can start rebuilding the economy in a way that is non-corrupt and transparent. what is also important to understand is for america to be successful in this region, things we will have to do here at home as well. one of the challenges over the last decade, we have done experiments in places like iraq and afghanistan and neglected developing our own economy and energy sectors and education system and it's very hard for us to project leadership around the world when we are not doing what we need to. >> governor romney, i want to hear your response to that. i would ask you would you have stuck with mubarak? >> no, i believe as the president indicated and said at the time i support his action there. i wish we would have had a better vision of the future and
looking back at the beginning of the president's term and further back we would have recognized there was a growing energy and passion for freedom in that part of the world and we would have worked more aggressively with our friends and other friends to have them make the transition towards a more representative form of government such it didn't explode in the way it did. i felt the same as the president did. the freedom voices and the streets of egypt where the people were our purpose is to make sure the world is peaceful. we want a peaceful planet we want people to enjoy their lives and know they are having a brat and prosperous future and not be at war and the mantle of leadership for promoting the principles of peace is falling
to america. we didn't ask for it but it is an honor to have p but for us to promote the principles of peace requires us to be strong and that is for a strong economy at home and unfortunately the economy is not stronger. when the president of iraq -- excuse me, of iran, says that our debt makes us not a great country, that's a frightening thing. former joint chiefs of staff said that our debt is the biggest national security threat we face. we have weakened our economy. we need a strong economy. we need as well a strong mail tir ry tirry military. our military is second to none in the world. we are blessed with extraordinary technology and intelligence but the yied of a trillion dollars in cuts through sequestering the military would change that. we need to have strong allies. our association and connection wour allies is essential to america's strength. we are the great nation that has allies. 42 allies in france around the world. and finally we have to stand by
our principles. and if we are strong in each of those things, american influence will grow but unfortunately, in nowhere in the world, is america's influence greater today than it was four years ago. >> all right. >> that's because we are weaker on each of those -- >> obama, you will get a chance to respond to that because that is the perfect segue into the next segment, that is what is america's role in the world. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix. when the doctor told me that i could smoke for the first week... i'm like...yeah, ok... little did i know that one week later i wasn't smoking. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away.
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that is the question, what did each of you see as our role in the world and i believe governor romney, it's your turn to go first. >> i absolutely believe that america has a responsibility and the privilege of of helping defend freedom and promote the principles that make the world more peaceful and those principles include human rights, human dignity, free enterprise, freedom of expression, elections. because when there are elections, people tend to vote for peace.
they don't vote for war. so we want to promote those principles around the world. we recognize there are places of conflict in the world. we want to end those conflicts to the extent humanly possible. but in order to be able to fulfill our role in the world, america must be strong. america must lead. and for that to happen, we have to strengthen our economy here at home. you can't have 23 million people struggling to get a job. you can't have an economy that over the last three years keeps slowing down its growth rate. you can't have kids coming out of college, half of them can't find a job today or a job commensurate with their college degree. we have to get our economy going. and our military. we've got to strengthen our military long-term. we don't know what the world will throw the at us down the road. we make designificants in a military that will confront chals we can't imagine. in the 2000 debates, there was no mention of terrorism for instance. a year later 9/11 happened. so we have to make decisions
based upon uncertainty. i will not cut our military budget. we also have to stand by our allies. i think the tension that existed between israel and the united states was very unfortunate. i think also that pulling our missile defense program out of poland and the way we did was also unfortunate in terms of, if you will, disrupting the relationship in some ways th existed between us. and with regards to standing for our principles, when the students took to the streets in teheran and pemt there pro tested, the green revolution occurred for the president to be silent, i thought was an enormous mistake. we have to stand for principles, stand for allies, stand for strong military and stand for a stronger economy. >> mr. president. >> america remains the one indispencible nation. and the world needs a strong america and it is stronger now than when i came into office. because we ended the war in iraq, we were able to refocus our attention on not only the
terrorist threat but also beginning a transition process in afghanistan. it also allowed us to refocus on alliances, relationships that had been neglected for a decade. and governor romney, our alliances have never been stronger. in asia, in europe, in africa. with israel where we have unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation including dealing with the iranian threat. but what we also have been able to do is position ourselves so we can start rebuilding america. and that's what my plan does. making sure that we're bringing manufacturing back to our shores so we are creating jobs here as wove done with the auto industry. not rewarding companies that are shipping jobs overseas. making sure that we've got the best education system in the world. including retraining our workers for the jobs of tomorrow. doing everything we can to control our own energy. we've cut our oil imports to the low elf level in two decades.
because wef developed oil and natural gas but we also have to develop clean energy teb technologies. that will allow us to cut exports in half by 2020. that's the kind of leadership that we need to show. and we've got to make sure we reduce our deficit. unfortunately governor's romney's plan doesn't do it. we have to do it in a responsible way by cutting out spending we don't know. but also asking wealthiest to pay a little more so we can invest in the research and technology that always kept us at the cutting edge. now governor romney has taken a different approach throughout this campaign. both at home and abroad, he has pro monthsed wrong and reckless policies. he has praised george bush as a good economic stewart and dick cheney as someone who shows great wisdom and judgment. and taking us back to those kinds of strategies that got us into this mess are not the way we are going to maintain leadership in the 21st century. >> governor romney, wrong and
reckless policies. >> i have a policy for the future and an agenda for the future. when it comes to our economy here at home, i know what it takes to create 12 million new jobs and rising take home pay. and what i have seen the last four years is not something i want to see over the next four years. the president said we would be 5.9% unemployment. er with 9 million jobs short of that. i will get people working again and do it with five simple steps. number one web will have north american energy independence. do it by taking full advantage of oil, coal, gas, nuclear and renewables. number two, well increase our trade. trade gross about 12% per year. doubles every five or so years. we can do better than that. particularly in latin america. we have just not taken fully advantage of it. latin-america's ekeehn my is almost as big as china. er with all focused on china. latin america is a huge
opportunity for us. time zone, language opportunities. number three. a training program at work for our workers and schools that finally put the parents and the teachers and kids first in the teachers union will have to go behind. then we get to a baelanced budget. we can't expect entrepreneurs and businesses to take their life savings or company's money if they think we are headed to the road in greece. that's where we are going unless we finally get off the spending and borrowing binge. and i will get us on track to a balanced budget. finally, number five, we have to champion small business. small businesses where jobs come from. two thirds of our jobs come from small businesses. new business formation is down to the lowest level in 30 years. under this administration. i want to bring them back and get back good jobs and rising take home pay. >> let's talk about what we need to compete. first of all, governor romney talks about small businesses but governor, when you were in
massachusetts, small businesses development ranked about 48th, i think, out of 50 states? massachusetts. because of the policies you are promoting don't help small businesses. and the way you define small businesses include folks at the very top. they include you and me. that's not the kind of small business promotion we need. but let's take an example that we know is going to make a difference in the 21st century and that's our education policy. we didn't have a lot of chance to talk about this in the last debate. under my leadership, what we've done is reform education. working with governors. 46 states. we've seen progress and gains in schools that were having a terrible time and they are starting to finally make progress. and what i now want to do is hire more teachers especially in bath and science because we know we have fallen behind when it comes to math and science. and those teachers can make a difference. now, governor romney, when you were asked by teachers whether or not this would help the economy grow, you said this isn't going to help the economy
grow. when you were asked about reduced class sizes, you said class sizes don't make a difference. but i tell you, if you talk to teachers, they'll tell you it does make a difference. and if we've got math teachers who are able to provide the kind of support that they need for our kids, that's what's going to determine whether or not the new businesses are created here. companies will locate here depending on whether we have the most highly skilled work force and can kinds of budget proposals that you put forward. when we don't ask, either you or me, to pay a dime more in terms of reducing the deficit, but instead slash education, that undermines our long-term competitiveness. that is began for america's position in the world and the world notices. >> let me get back to foreign policy. can i just get back -- >> i will just be a moment, if you will let me, bob, just about education. >> okay. >> i'm so proud of the state that i had the chance to be governor of. we have, every two years, tests that look at how well our kids
are doing. fourth graders and 8th graders are tested in english and math. while i was governor, i was proud our fourth graders came out number one in english and also in math. eighth graders, in english and math. first time a state was number one in all four measures. how do we do that? democrats and republicans came together in a bipartisan agreement to focus on having great teachers in the classroom. >> ten years earlier. >> that is what allowed us to become the number one state in the nation. >> that was ten years after you took office then you cut spending when you came into office. >> and we kept our schools number one in the nation. they are still number one today. >> all right. >> and the principles also gave kids not just a gradation exam that determined whether they had the skills to compete. but also if they graduated at top quarter of this of their class. they got a four-year tuition
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i want to try to shift it, because we have heard some of this in the other debates. governor you say you want a bigger military. you want a bigger navy. you don't want it cut defense spending. what i want to ask you, we're talking about financial problems in this country. where are you going to get the money? >> well, let's come back and talk about the military. but all the way through. first of all, i'm going through from the very beginning. we are going to cut about 5% of the discretionary budget, excludeing military. >> you can't do that without driving us deeper into debt. >> i'll be happy to have you take a look. come on our website. you will look at how we get to a balanced budget within 8 to 10 years. we do it by reducing spending in a series of programs. number one i get rid of it is obama care. a number of things sound good but frankly we just can't afford them.
frankly, that doesn't sound good and it's not affordable. i get that out day one. we take out program by program what we don't absolutely have to have and get rid of them. number two, take some programs that we are going to keep, like medicaid, which is a program for the poor. we take that healthcare program for the poor and give it to the states to run because states run these programs more efficiently. as a governor, i thought, please, give me this program. i can run this more efficiently than the federal government and states, by the way, are proving it. states like arizona, rhode island have taken these medicaid dollars. have shown they can run the programs more cost effectively. i want to do those two things. it gets us to balanced budget within eight it ten years. >> bob. >> let's come back to the military. >> that's what i'm trying to find out about. >> should have answered the first question. >> look, governor romney's called for 5 trillion in tax
cuts he says he will pay for by closing deductions. the math doesn't work, but he continues to claim that he's going to do it. he then wants to spend another 2 trillion on military spending that our military is not asking for. now keep in mind that our military spending has gone up every singlier that i've been in office. we spend more on our military than the next ten countries combined. china, russia, france, united kingdom, you name it. next ten. what i did was work with our joint chiefs of staff to think about what are we going to need in the future to make sure that we are safe. that's the budget that we've put forward. but what you can't do is spend $2 trillion in additional military spending that the military is not ska asking for. 5 trillion in tax cuts. you say you will pay for by
closing loop holes and dedu dedeductions, without naming what they are. then somehow deal with the deficit we've already got. the math simply didn't work. but when it comes to our military, what we have to think about is not just budgets, we've got to think about capabilities. we need to be thinking about cyber security. think about space. that's exactly what our budget does, but it is driven by strategy. not by politics. it's not driven by members of congress and what they would like to see. it is driven by what are we going to need to keep the american people safe. that's exactly what our budget does. and it also then allows us to reduce our deficit which is a significant national security concern. because we've got to make sure that our economy is strong at home so we can project military power overseas. >> bob, i'm pleased that i balanced budgets. ways in the world of business for 25 years. if you didn't balance your budget, you went out of business. i want to the olympics that was
out of balance and we got it on balance and made a success there. i had the chance to be governor of state four years in a row. dem krts and republicans came together to balance the budget. we cut taxes 19 times. balanced our budge pet. the president hasn't balanced a budget yet. i expect to have the opportunity to do so myself. i will be able to balance the budget. let's talk about military spending web and that's it. >> 30 seconds. >> our navy is smaller now than any time since 1917. the navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. we are heading down to the load 200s if we go through sequestration, that's unacceptable to me. i want to make sure we have the ships required by our navy. our air force is older than smaller than any time since it was founded in 1947. we changed, for the first time since fdr, we always had the strategy of saying we could fight in could two conflicts at once. now we are changing to one conflict. this dwb wb in my view, is the
highest responsibility for the president of the united states. h is to maintain the safety of the american people. i will not cut our military budget by a trillion dollars. which is the cuts the president has, along with ssequester cuts. >> this is not something that i proposed, it is something that congress proposed. it will not happen. the budget we are talking about is not reducing military spending, it is maintaining it. i think governor romney hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works pup mentioned the navy for example and we have fewer ships than in 1916. governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military changed. we have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. we have slips that go under water, nuclear submarines. so the question is not a game of battleship where we are counting ships. it is what are our capabilities.
when i sit down with the second of the navy, and the joint chiefs of staff, we determine how are we going to be best able to meet all of our defense needs in a way that also keeps faith with our troops, that also makes sure that our veterans have the kind of support that they need when they come home. that is not reflected in the kind of budget that you're putting forward. because it just doesn't work. >> all right. >> and we visited the website quite a bit and it zil doesn't work. >> lot to cover. i would like it move to the next segment. red lines, israel, and iran. would either of you, and you will have two minutes, and president obama you have the first go at this one. would either of you be willing to declare that an attack on israel is an attack on the united states? which of course is the same promise that we give to our close allies, like japan. and if you made such a
declaration, would not that defer iran? it is certainly deferred the soviet union for a long, long time when we made that -- when we made that promise to our allies. mr. president? >> first of all, israel is a true friend. it is our greatest ally in the region and if israel is attacked, america will stand with israel. i've made that clear throughout my presidency. >> so you are saying, we've already made that declaration? >> i will stand with israel if they are attacked. this is the reason why. working with israel, we have created the strongest military cooperation between our two countries in history. in fact this week we'll be carrying out the largest military exercise with israel in history, this very week. but to the issue of iran, as long as i'm president of the united states, iran will not get a nuclear weapon. i made that clear when i came into office. we then organized the strongest
coalition and the strongest sanctions against iran in history. and it is crippling their economy. their currency dropped 80%. their oil production plunged to the lowest level since fighting a war with iraq 20 years ago. the reason dwe this is because nuclear aran did this so t national security and a threat to israel's national security. we cannot afford to have a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region of the war. iran is a state sponsored area of terrorism. for them to have technology to nonstate actors, that's unacceptable. they have said they want to see israel wiped off the map. the so the work we've done, with respect to sanctions, now offers a lot of choice, they can can take the diplomatic route and end their nuclear program or face a united world and a united
states president, me, who said, we're not taking any options off the table. the disagreement i have with governor romney is that during the course of the campaign we often talked as if we should take premature military action. i think that would be a mistake because when i sent men and women into harm's way, i understand that's the last resort, not the first resort. >> two minutes. >> first of all, i want to underscore the same point the president made, which is that if i'm president of the united states, when i'm president of the united states, well stand with israel. and if israel is attacked, we have their back. not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily. that's number one. number two, with regards to iran and the threat of iran. there is no question but a nuclear iran, nuclear capable iran, is acceptable to america. represent a threat to not only our friends but to us for iran
to have nuclear presence to be threatening us to. it is also essential for us to understand our mission in iran. that's to dissuade iran from having a weapon through peaceful and diplomatic means. five years ago when i was in the conference, i laid out seven steps. crippling sanctions were number one. they do work. you are seeing it right now in the economy. it is the right thing to do to have crippling sanctions. i would have done it earlier, but it is good we have them. number two, tighten those sanctions. ships that carry iranian oil can't come into our ports. i imagine the eu would agree with us as well. not only ships couldn't, i would say companies moving their oil can't. people trading in their oil, i would tighten sanctions further. secondly, take on diplomatic isolation efforts. i would make sure that he is indicted under the genocide. by would indict him for it.
i would also make sure that their diplomats are treated like the pa rya they are around had world. same way we treated the diplomats of south america. we need to increase pressure time and time again on iran. because anything other than a solution to this, which stops this nuclear fall folly of theirs is unacceptable to america. and a military action is the last resort. it is something one would only consider if all of the other avenues had been tried to their full extent. [ man ] in hong kong, on my way to the board meeting... anne's tablet called my phone. anne's tablet was chatting with a tablet in sydney... a desktop in zurich... and a telepresence room in brazil. the secure cloud helped us get some numbers from my assistant's pc in new york.
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let me ask both of you, as you know, there are reports that are on in the united states is part of an international group have agreed in principle, to talk about iran's nuclear program. what is the deal, if there are such talks, what is the deal that you would accept, mr. president. >> first of all, those are reports in the newspaper. they are not true. but our goal is to get iran to recognize it needs to give up its nuclear program. and abide by the u.n. resolutions that have been in place. because they had the opportunity to reenter the community of nations and we w0 welcome that. there are people in iran with the same aspirations as people
all around the world, for a better life. and we hope that their leadership takes the right decision. but the deal we'll accept is they end their nuclear program. it is very straight forward. and i'm glad that governor romney romney agrees with the steps we're taking. there have been times, governor, during the step of this campaign where you thought you would dot same thing we did but say them louder and it would make a difference. it turns out the work involved in setting up these sanctions is painstaking. it is my meticulous. the reason it is so important, is it is a testament to how we restored american credibility and strength around the world, is we had to make sure all countries participated. even countries like rush why si china. we have had sanctions in place for a long time. it is because we got everybody
to agree that iran is seeing so much pressure and we have to maintain that pressure. there is a deal to be had that is that they abide about the i rules that have been established. they con vin the international community. they are not pursuing a nuclear program. there are inspeck is that are very intrusive. but over time what they can do is regain mobility. and one last thing just to make this point, the clock is ticking. we're not going to allow iran to perpetually engage in negotiations that lead nowhere. and i've been very clear to them. because of the intelligence coordination that we do with a range of countries, including israel, we have a sense of when they would get break out capacity, which means we would not be able to intervene in time to stop their nuclear program. that clock is ticking. and we will make sure that if they do not meet the demands of
the international, then we are going to take all options necessary to make sure they don't have a nuclear weapon. >> governor? >> i think from the very beginning one of the challenges we have had from iran is they looked that administration and felt the administration is not as strong as it needed to be. i think they saw weakness where they expected to find american strength. i say that because from the very beginning the president campaigned four years ago saying he would meet with the world's first actors. in his first year sat down with chavez and kim jong il, castro and president of iran. and i think they looked and thought, that's an unusual honor to receive from the president of the united states. then the president began what i called an apology tour, going to various nations in the middle east and criticizing america. i think they looked at that and saw weakness. then when there were dissidents in the treats of teheran, green revolution, holding signs saying, is america with us, the
president was silent. i think they noticed that as well. and i think that when the president said he would create daylight between ourselves and israel, that they noticed that as well. all of these things suggested i think to the iranians that we can keep on pushing along here. we can keep talks going on. we will just keep on spinning center, now there are 10,000 spinning uranium, preparing to create a nuclear threat to the united states and world. that's unacceptable for pups us. and it is essential for a president to show strength from the beginning, show what is acceptable and not acceptable and an iranian nuclear program is not acceptable for us. and the way it make sure they understand that is to have from the very beginning the tightiest sanks possible. they need to be diplomatic.
we need to indict because if we do that we don't have to can take military ak. >> bob, just let me respond. >> nothing governor romney just said is is true. starting with this notion of me apologizing. this has been probably the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign. and every fact checker and every reporter looked at it, governor, said this is not true. and when it comes to tightening sanctions, look, as i said before, we have put in the toughest most crippling sanctions ever. and the fact is, while we were coordinating an international coalition to make sure these sanks were effective, you were still invested in a chinese state oil company that was doing business with the iranian oil sector. so i will let the american people decide, judge, who is going to be more effective and more credible when it comes to imposing kipling sanks. with respect to our attitude about the iranian revolution, i was very clear about the
murderous activities that had taken place and that was contrary to international law and everything that civilized people stand for. so the strength that we have shown in iran, is shown by the fact that we've been able to mobilize the world. when i came into office, the world was divided. iran was resunrgenesurgent. iran was at its weakest point. than it has been in many years. we will continue to keep the pressure on it make sure they do not get a nuclear weapon. that's in america's national interest and that will be the case so long as i'm president? >> we are four years closer to a nuclear iran. we are four years closer to a nuclear iran. we should not have wasted these years to the extent they continue to spend these center fusions and get that much closer. that's number one. number two, mr. president, the reason i call it an apology
tour, is because the you went to the middle east, o saudi arabia, turkey, iraq, and by the way with you you skipped israel. ou closest friend in the region. but you went to the other nations. and by the way, they noticed that you skipped israel. then in those nations and arabic tv, you said they had been divisive. mr. president, america has not dictated to other nations. we have freed other nationes from dictators. >> bob, let me respond. if we're going to talk about trips we've taken, when i was a candidate for office, first trip i took was to visit our troops. and when i went to israel as a candidate, i didn't take donors. i didn't attend fund-raisers. i went to the holocaust museum there to remind myself of the nature of evil and why our bond
with israel will be unbreakable. then i went down to the border towns which experienced missiles raining down from hamas. i saw families there who showed me where missiles had come down near their children's bedrooms and i was reminded of what that would mean if those were my kids. which is why, as president, we fronted an iron dome program to stop those missiles. so that's how i've used my traveles. when i travel to israel and when i travelled to the region. and the central question, at this point, is going to be who's going to be credible to all parties involved and they can look at my track record, whether iran sanctions, whether dealing with counterterrorism, whether it is supporting democracy, supporting women's rights, religious minorities, and they can say, that president of the
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what if, what if the prime minister of israel called you on the phone and said, our bombers are on the way. we're going to bomb iran. >> bob, let's not go into hype thet ka hypotheticals of that nature. we would not get a call saying their bombers are on the way or their fighters are on the way. this is the kind of thing that would have been discussed and fairly evaluated -- >> so you say that wouldn't happen -- >> let's see what -- >> let's go back to what the president was speaking about, which is what is happening in
the world. and the president's statement that things are going so well. i look at what is happening around the world, and i see four years closer to iran with a bomb. i see a rising tide of violence, jihadists continuing to spread, whether they are rising or just about the same level. hard to presecisely measure. but clear they are there. i see syria with 30,000 civilians dead. eye sad still in power. our trade deficit with china growing larger every year, as a matter of fact. i look around the world and you see north korea continuing to export their nuclear technology. russia saying they won't follow luger any more. i look around the world, i don't see our influence growing around the world, i see our influence receding. partly because of the president
not dealing with economic challenges at home. in part because of the withdraw from the military and the way i think it aught to be. in part because of the turmoil with israel. the president received a letter from 38 democrat senators saying that the tensions with israel were a real problem. they asked him, please repair the tension. democrat senators, please repair the damage in his own party. >> all right. governor, the problem is on a whole range of issues, whether it's the middle east, whether it's afghanistan, whether it's iraq, whether it's now, iran. you've been all over the map. i'm pleased that you now are endorsing our policy of applying diplomatic pressure and potentially having bilateral discussions with the iranians to end their nuclear program. but just a few years ago, you said that is something you'd
never do. in the same way that you initially opposed a timetable in afghanistan. now you are for it. although it depends. in the same way that you say you would have ended the war in iraq. but recently, gave a speech saying that we should have 20,000 more folks in there. the same way that you said that it was mission creek to go after gadhafi. when it comes to going after osama bin laden, you said, any president would make that call. but when you were a candidate in 2008, as i was, and i said, if i got bin laden in our sights, i would take that shot. you said, we shouldn't move heaven and earth to get one man. you said we should ask pakistan for permission. if we had asked pakistan for permission, we would not have gotten him. and it was worth moving heaven and earth to get him. after we killed bin laden within i was at ground zero for memorial and talked to a young
woman who was four years old when 9/11 happened. and the last conversation she had with her father was, him calling from the twin towers. saying, payton, i love you, and i will always watch over you. and for the next decade, she was haunted by that conversation. and she said to me, you know, by finally getting bin laden, that brought some closure to me. and when we do things like that, when we bring those who have harmed us to justice, that sends a message to the world and it tells payton that we did not forget her father. and i make that point because that's the kind of clarity of leadership and those decisions are not always popular. those decisions generally are not poll tested. and even some in my own party, including my current vice president, had the same critique as you did. but what the american people understand is that i look at what we need to get done to keep
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>> that's probably true. >> we will give you -- >> we will catch up. >> the united states is scheduled to turn over responsibilities for security in afghanistan to the afghan government in 2013. p the that point we will withdraw combat troops. leave a smaller amount, if i understand our policy, in afghanistan for training purposees. it seems to me the key question here, is what do you do if the deadline arrives and it is obvious the afghans are unable to handle their security? do we still leave? i believe, governor romney, you go first. >> we will be finished by 2014. and when i'm president, we will make sure we bring out troops out by the end of 2014. the commanders and generals there are on track to do so. we have seen progress over the past several years. the surge has been successful and the training program is proceeding at a pace that is now the large number of afghan
security forces, 350,000, that are ready to step in, provide security, and we make that transition by the end of 2014. so our troops will come home at that point. i can tell you at the same time, that we will make sure that we look at what's happening in pakistan. and recognize that what's happening in pakistan, is going to have major impact on the success in afghanistan. and i say that because i know a lot of people just feel like we should just brush our hands and walk away. and i don't mean you, mr. president, but some people in our nation, feel that pakistan isn't being nice to us and we should walk away from them. but pakistan is important to the region, the world and us to. pakistan has a hundred nuclear warheads and rushing to build more, more than great britain in the relatively near future. they also have the taliban existent within their country.
so a pakistan that falls apart becomes a failed state would be of extraordinary danger to afghanistan and to us. so we are going to have to remain helpful in encouraging pakistan to move towards a more stable government and to rebuild a relationship with us. that means that our aid that we provide to pakistan will have to be conditioned upon certain benchmarks being met. so for me i look at moving pakistan in the right direction and also to get afghanistan to be ready and they will be ready bit end of 2014. >> mr. president? >> when i came into office, we were still bogged down in iraq. and afghanistan had been drifting for a decade. we ended the war in iraq. refocused attention on afghanistan. we did deliver a surge of troops. that was facilitated in part because we ended the war in iraq. we are now in a position where we have met many of the objectives that got us there in the first place.
part of what had happened is we forgot why we had gone. we went because there were people who were responsible for 3,000 american deaths. so we decimated alkied yeah core leadership in the border regions between afghanistan and pakistan. we then started to build up afghan forces. and we're now in a position to transition out. there is no reason why americans should die when afghans are perfectly capable defending their own country. that transitions has it take place in a responsible fashion. we've been there a long time and we have to make sure that we and our coalition partners are pulling out responsibly and giving afghans the capabilities they need. but what i think the american people recognize is after a decade of war, it is time to do some nation building here at home. and what we can now do is free up some resources to, for example, put americans back to
work, especially our veterans, rebuilding roads, bridge webs schools, making sure that our veterans are getting the care they need when it comes to post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. making sure that the certifications that they need for good jobs in the future take place. ways having lunch with a veteran in minnesota who had been a medic dealing with the most extreme circumstances. when he came home and wanted to become a nurse, he had to start from scratch. and what we have said is let's change the certifications. the first lady has done great work with a program called joining forces, putting veterans back it work. the veterans unemployment is lower than the general population. it was higher when i came into office. those are the kinds of things we can now do because we are making that transition in afghanistan. >> all right. let me go to governor romney.
because you talked about pakistan and what needs to be done there. general allan our commandener afghanistan, says soldiers are continuing to die due to groups in afghanistan. the group arest the doctor who helped us catch obama's bin m laden. it still provides safety for terrorists. we still give pakistan billions of dollars. is it time for us to divorce pakistan? >> no, it is not time to divorce a nation on earth that has a hundred nuclear weapons and on its way to double that at some point. a nation that has serious threats from terrorist groups in its nation. it is nation not like others taen does have not a civilian leadership that is calling shots there. have you the isi, their intelligence organization, is
probably the most powerful of the three branchs there. then the military, then the civilian government. this is a nation, which if it falls apart, if it becomes a failed state, their nuclear weapons there. and you've got terrorists there who can grab their hands under those nuclear weapons. this is an important part of the world for us. pakistan is a technically an ally and they are not acting very much like an ally right now, but we have work to do. i don't blame the administration for the fact that relationship with pakistan is strained. we had to go in noo pakistan. we had to go in there to get osama bin laden. that's the right thing to do. that upset them but there was great deal of anger before that. but we have to work with the people in pakistan it try and help them move it a more responsible course than the one they are on. and it is important for them, important for the nuclear weapons. it is important for the success of afghanistan. because inside pakistan, you
have a large passionate taliban that will come rushing back in when we go bp that's one of the reasons the afghan security forces have so much to do to fight against that. but it is important for us to recognize that we can't just walk away from pakistan. we do need to make sure as we send support for them that this is tied to them making progress on matters that would lead them to becoming a civil society. >> let me ask you, governor, because we know president obama's position on this, what is your position on the use of drones? >> well i believe that we should use any and all means necessary to take out people who pose a threat to us and our friends around the world. and it is widely reported that drones are used in drone strikes. and i support that entirely and feel the president was right to up the usage of that technology and continue to use it and continue to use it against those
that represent a threat tower nation and our friends. and we also have to do more than going after leaders and killing bad guys. as prnt as that is, we also have to have a far more effective and comprehensive strategy to help move we talk a lot about these things. you look at the record of the last four years and say, is iran closer to a bomb? yes. is the middle east in tumult? yes. is al qaeda on the run, on its heels? no. are israel and the palestinians he closer to reaching a peace agreement? >> no, they haven't had talks in two years. we have not seen the progress we need to have, and i'm convinced with strong leadership and an effort to build a strategy based upon helping these nations reject extremism, we can see the kind of peace and prosperity the world demands. >> keep in mind our strategy wasn't just going after bin ladin. we created partnerships to go
after extremism in somalia, yemen, pakistan. and we've engaged these governments in the kind of reforms that are going to make a difference in people's lives day to day, to make sure their governments aren't corrupt. to make sure they're treating women with the kind of respect and dignity that every nation that succeeds has shown. and to make sure that they've got a free market system that works. so across the board, we are engaging them in building capacity in these countries and we have stood on the side of democracy. one thing i think americans should be proud of, when tunisians began to protest, this nation, me, my administration, stood with them earlier than just about any country. in egypt we stood on the side of democracy. in libya we stood on the side of the people.
as a consequence, there's no doubt that attitudes about americans have changed. there's always going to be elements in these countries to potentially threaten the united states. we want to shrink those groups and networks and we can do that, we're also growing to have to maintain vigilance when it comes to terrorist activities. the truth is, al qaeda is much weaker than it was when i came into office. they don't have the same capacities to attack the u.s. homeland and our allies as we did four years ago. [ ross ] we are in the dades gorge, high up in the atlas mountains of morocco. have you seen this road we're going down? ♪ there is no relief for the brakes. we'll put them to the test today. all right, let's move out! [ ross ] we're pushing the ats brakes to the limit.
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>> let's go to the next segment, because it's a very important one. it is the rise of china and future challenges for america. i want to begin this by asking both of you and mr. president, you go first this time. what do you believe is the greatest future threat to the national security of this country? >> well, i think it will continue to be terrorist networks, we had to remain vigilant as i just said. with respect to china, china's an adversary and also a potential partner in the international community if it's following the rules. so my attitude coming into office was that we are going to insist that china plays by the
same rules as everybody else. i know americans had seen jobs being shipped overseas businesses and workers not getting a level playing field when it came to trade. that's the reason why i set up a trade task force to go after cheaters when it came to international trade. that's why we brought more sanctions on china. we won almost every case that we filed that's been decided. just recently, steel workers in ohio, throughout the midwest, and pennsylvania. are in a position to sell steel to china because we won that case. they were flooding us with cheap chinese fires and we put a stop to it, as a consequence saved jobs. throughout america. i have to say that governor romney criticized me for being too tough in that tire case.
said this wouldn't be good for american workers and it would be protectionist. i tell you, those workers don't feel that way. they feel as if they had finally an administration who was going to take this issue seriously. over the long term in order for us to compete with china, we've also got to make sure that we're taking care of business here at home. if we don't have the best education system in the world, if we don't have the research that will allow us to create great businesses that's how we lose the competition. unfortunately, governor romney's budget and his proposals would not allow us to make those investments. >> first of all, it's not government that makes business successful. it's not government businesses that make businesses grow and higher people. the greatest threat the world faces is a nuclear iran. let's talk about china.
china has an interest that's very much like ours. in one respect and that is, they want a stable world this they don't want war, they don't want to see protectionism, they don't want to see the world break out into various chaos, they have to manufacture goods and put to work 20 million people to work coming out of the farms every year. they want the economy to work and be free and open. we can be a partner with china. we don't have to be an adversary in anyway shape or form. we can work with them, collaborate with them, if they're willing to be responsible. now, they look at us and say, is it a good idea to be with america? how strong are we going to be? how strong is our economy. they look at the fact that we owe them a trillion dollars, and other people 16 trillion, including them. they look at our decision to cut back on our military capabilities, a trillion dollars. the secretary of defense called these trillion dollars of cuts
to our military devastating. it's not my term, the secretary of defense called them devastating. they look at america's commitments around the world and see what's happening, they say, is america going to be strong? the answer is, yes, if i'm president the country will be very strong. we'll also make sure we have trade relations with china that work for us. i've watched year in and year out as companies have shut down and people have lost their jobs because china has not played by the same rules. in part by holding down the value of their currency, it holds down the value of their goods and we lose jobs. that's got to end. they're making some progress, they need to make more. on day one, i will label them a currency manipulator, which allows us too apply tariffs where they're taking jobs. hacking into our computers, counterfeiting our goods. they have to understand we want
to trade with them. we want a world that's stable. we like free enterprise, but you have to play by the rules. >> governor, let me just ask you. if you declare them a currency manipulator on day one, some people say you're just going to start a trade war with china on day one. is that -- isn't there a risk -- >> they sell us this much stuff every year, and we sell them this much stuff every year. it's pretty clear who doesn't want a trade one. we have an enormous trade imbalance with china, it's worse this year than last year, and worse last year than the year before. we have to understand that we can't just surrender and lose jobs year in and year out, we have to say to our friends in china, look, you guys are playing aggressively, we understand it, but this can't keep on going, you can't keep on holding down the value of your currency, stealing our intellectual property.
counterfeiting our products, selling them around the world, even into the united states. i was with one company that makes valves in process industries. they said, look, we were having some valves coming in that were broken and we had to repair them under warranty, we looked them up, they had our serial number on them, we noticed there was more than one with that same serial number. there were counterfeit products being made overseas with the same number as the u.s. company. this can't go on. i want a great relationship with china. china can be our partner, but that doesn't mean they can just roll all over us and steal our jobs on an unfair basis. >> governor romney is right. you are familiar with jobs being shipped overseas, because you invested in companies that shipped jobs overseas. and that's your right. i mean, that's how our free market works. but i've made a different bet on american workers.
if we had taken your advice, governor romney about our auto industry, we'd be buying cars from china instead of selling cars to china. if we take your advice with regard to how we change our tax code so companies with profits overseas don't pay u.s. taxes, that's estimated to create 800,000 jobs, the problem is they won't be here, they'll be in places like china. and if we're not making investments in education and basic research, which is not something the private sector is doing at a sufficient pace right now and has never done. we will lose the lead in things like clean energy technology. now, with respect to what we've done with china already, u.s. exports have doubled since i came into office to china. and the currencies are at their most advantageous point for u.s. exporters since 1993.
we absolutely have to make more progress, that's why we're going to keep on pressing. and when it comes to our military and chinese security. part of the reason we were able to pivot to the asia pacific region after having ended the war in iraq, and transitioning out of afghanistan is precisely because this is going to be a massive growth area in the future. and we believe china can be a partner, we're also sending a clear signal that america is a pacific power, that we're going to have a presence there. we are working with countries in the region to make sure, for example, that ships can pass through, that commerce continues, and we're organizing trade relations with countries other than china, so that china starts feeling more pressure about meeting basic international standards. that's the kind of leadership we've shown in the region, that's the kind of leadership we'll continue to show. >> i want to take one of those
points, again, attacking me is not talking about an agenda for getting more trade and opening up more jobs for this country. but the president mentioned the auto industry and somehow i would be in favor of jobs being elsewhere, nothing could be further from the truth. i'm a son of detroit, i was born in detroit. my dad was head of a car company. i like american cars, i would do nothing to hurt the u.s. auto industry. my plan to get the industry on its feet when it was in real trouble was not to start writing checks, it was president bush that wrote the first checks. i disagreed with that. i said, these companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy, in that process they can get government help and guaranteed. they need to go through bankruptcy to -- >> governor romney that is not what you said. >> you can take a look at the op ed. >> you did not say you would provide government help. >> i said we would provide guarantees, that is what was
able to allow these companies to go through bankruptcy, under no circumstances would i do anything other than to help this industry get on its feet. the idea that's been suggested that i would liquidate the industry, of course not. of course not. >> let's check the record. >> that's the height of silliness. >> i never said i would want to -- >> the people of detroit don't forget. >> that's why i have the kind of commitment to make sure that our industries in this country can compete and be successful. we in this country can compete successfully with anyone in the world, and we're going to. we're going to have to have a president, however, that doesn't think that somehow the government investing in car companies like tesla and fiskar making battery operated cars, this is not research, this is the government investing in companies, investing in solyndra. this is a company, this isn't basic research. i want to invest in research. research is great. providing funding to universities and think tanks.
but investing in companies? absolutely not. >> governor -- >> that's the wrong way to go. >> that's -- >> i'm still speaking. i want to make sure we make america more competitive, and we do those things that make america the most attractive place in the world for entrepreneurs, innovators, businesses to grow. your investing in companies doesn't do that, it makes it less likely for them to come here, because the private sector is not going to invest in a solar company if you're investing in someone els -- >> look, i think anybody out there can check the record. governor romney, you keep on trying to air brush history. you were very clear that you would not provide government assistance to the u.s. auto companies even if they went through bankruptcy. you said they could get it in the private marketplace. that wasn't true. they would have gone through -- >> you're wrong, mr. president. >> no, i am not wrong. >> people can look it up, you're
right. >> people will look it up. >> more importantly, it is true that in order for us to be competitive, we're going to have to make some smart choices right now. cutting our education budget, that's not a smart choice, that will not help us compete with china. cutting our investments in research and technology, that's not a smart choice. that will not help us compete with china. bringing down our deficit by adding $7 trillion of tax cuts and military spending that our military's not asking for, before we get to the debt that we currently have, that is not going to make us more competitive. those are the kinds of choices american people face right now. shipping jobs overseas, instead of companies that are investing here in the united states. that will not make us more competitive. the one thing i'm absolutely clear about, is that after a decade in which we saw adrift, jobs being shipped overseas,
nobody championing american workers and businesses, we've now begun to make some real progress, we can't go back to the same policies that got us into such difficult in the first place. that's why we had to move forward and not go back. >> i couldn't agree more about going-forward. but i don't want to go back to the policies of the last four years. 23 million americans still struggling to find a good job. when you came into office, 32 million people on food stamps, today, 47 million people on food stamps, when you came to office, just over $10 trillion in debt, now, $16 trillion in debt, it hasn't worked. you said by now we'd be at 5.4% unemployment, we're 9 million jobs short of that. i've met some of those people. i met them in appleton, wisconsin, i met a young woman
in philadelphia who's coming out of college, can't find work. i've been -- ann was with someone just the other day that was just weeping about not being able to get work. it's just a tragedy in a nation so prosperous as ours, that the last four years have been so hard. that's why it's so critical, that we make america once again the most attractive place in the world to start businesses, to build jobs to grow the economy. and that's not going to happen. by just hiring teachers. i love to -- i love teachers, i'm happy to have states and communities that want to hire teachers do that. i don't like to have the federal government start pushing its weight deeper and deeper into the schools. let the states and localities do that. the federal government didn't hire our teachers. i want to get our private sector growing and i know how to do it. >> i think we all love teachers. thank you so much for a vigorous debate, we have come to the end. it is time for closing
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we have come to the end. it is time for closing statements, i believe you're first, mr. president. >> thank you very much, bob, governor romney and to lynn university. you've now heard three debates, months of campaigning and way too many tv commercials. and now you've got a choice. over the last four years we've made real progress digging our way out of policies that gave us
prolonged wars. governor romney wants to take us back to those policies, a foreign policy that's wrong and reckless, economic policies that won't create jobs, won't reduce our deficit, but will make sure that folks at the very top don't have to play by the same rules you do. i have a different vision for america. i want to build on our strengths, i put forward a plan to make sure we're bringing manufacturing jobs back to our shores by rewarding companies and small businesses that are investing here not overseas. i want to make sure we got the best education system in the world. and we're retaining our workers for the jobs of tomorrow. i want to control our own energy. by developing oil and natural gas, but also the energy sources of the future. yes, owe want to reduce our deficit by cutting spending we don't need, but also by asking the wealthy to do a little bit
more, so we can invest in things like research and technology that are the key to a 21st century economy. as commander in chief, i will maintain the strongest military in the world, keep faith with our troops and go after those who would do us harm, but after a decade of war, we all realize we have to do some nation building here at home. we've been through tough times we always bounce back because of our character, because we pull together. if i have the privilege of being your president for another four years, i promise you i will always listen to your voices, i will fight for your families, and i will work every single day to make sure america continues to be the greatest nation on earth. >> thank you. >> bob, mr. president, folks at lynn university. good to be with you. i'm optimistic about the future. i'm excited about the prospects as a nation.
i want to see peace. we have an opportunity to have real leadership. americans will continue to promote principles of peace to make the world a safer place, and make people in this country more confident that their future is secure. i also want to make sure that we get this economy going. and there are two very different paths the country can take. one is a path represented by the president which at the end of four years would mean we would have $20 trillion in debt, heading toward greece. i'll get us on track to a balanced budget. the president's path will mean declining take home pay. i want to make sure take home pay turns around and starts to grow. the president's path means 20 million out of work struggling for a good job. i'll get people back to work with 12 million new jobs, i want to make sure we get people off food stamps, not by cutting the program but by cutting jobs. america's going to come back,
for that to happen, we are going to have to have a president who can work across the aisle. i was in a state where my legislature was 87% democrat, i learned how to get along on the other side of the aisle. we have to do that in washington. washington is broken, i know what it takes to get this country back. we'll work with good democrats and good republicans to do that, this nation is the hope of the earth, we've been blessed by having a nation that's free and prosperous thanks to the contributions of the greatest generation that held a torch for the world to see, a torch of freedom, hope and opportunity. now it's our turn to take that torch. i'm convinced we'll do, we need strong leadership. i'd like to be that leader with your support. i'll work with you. i'll lead you in an open and honest way, and i ask for your vote. i'd like to be the next president of the united states to support and help this great nation. and to make sure we all together maintain america as the hope of the earth. thank you so much.
>> gentlemen, thank you both so much. that brings an end to this year's debates. we want to thank lynn university and its students for having us. as i always do at the end of these debates, i leave you with the words of my mom, who said, go vote. makes you feel big and strong. good night. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. [ applause ] [ applause ] [ man ] in hong kong, on my way to the board meeting...
anne's tablet called my phone. anne's tablet was chatting with a tablet in sydney... a desktop in zurich... and a telepresence room in brazil. the secure cloud helped us get some numbers from my assistant's pc in new york. and before i reached the top, the board meeting became a congrats we sold the company party. wait til my wife's phone hears about this. [ cellphone vibrating ] [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center, working together has never worked so well.